News From Our Churches

Two of our churches called ministers during the last week of January. Southwest had a trio consisting of Rev. R. Moore, Rev. G. VanBaren, and Rev. H. Veldman, while that of Grand Rapids Hope Church consisted of Rev. J. Heys, Rev. M. Schipper, and Rev. H. Veldman. The calls went to Rev. VanBaren and Rev. Schipper, respectively.

This note from Southwest’s bulletin: “If our Choral Society is going to continue, it is imperative that more members join, regardless of voice range. . . . There are no voice tests or other requirements, only that you enjoy singing and are able to carry a tune.” Hudsonville’s bulletin, in a similar appeal (due, no doubt, to an identical problem), added this very appropriate line: “Use what talents you possess. The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those which sing the best.”

Also from Hudsonville’s bulletin comes this note from a radio listener: “Dear Sirs, Yesterday afternoon I was fortunate enough to be listening to radio station WJBL from Holland, Michigan, and heard the sermon on the Reformed Witness Hour. . . . I wish to order 50 copies of this sermon at once. I intend to send many of them to the churches out in the East. . . .” It’s certainly gratifying to be reminded, occasionally, that God is using our Reformed witness in such a way that His Word never returns void.

Speaking of bulletins, may we ask, “Where are they all?” For this particular issue of the Standard Bearer, the U.S. Mail delivered only two envelopes to Plymouth Terrace. So, we’ll have to dig into our box of old school news. 

Fact of the matter is, though, we’ve been waiting for just such an opportunity to get at the “Reflector”—the seasonal newspaper of our school in South Holland. In the October, 1970, issue, there was a typically fine editorial by the Administrator, Mr. L. Lubbers. There’s no way to quote part of that editorial and do it any sort of justice; so we would like to use the rest of this column to present it in its entirety. We’re sure that no one will consider it wasted space. It’s entitled, “The First Decade.” 

“We have entered the tenth year in this Christian school. By God’s grace, we shall continue to strive to provide distinctive instruction for the children of Reformed parents of our church and in this community.

“Recently I was asked, how is your school different from the other Christian schools in the community? Not wishing to stress size or pedagogical methods, I gave the following answer. 

“Our school is theocentric in that the emphasis of prayer, curriculum, devotional singing and study is to bring praise to God our Creator and King. 

“Our school is covenantal. We believe that we are, instructing the children who have received the promise and who have been ingrafted into the vine Christ by his work of grace. Therefore, we are not evangelical in the sense that we bring the child to a saving knowledge of Christ. 

“Our school is parental. In operation, the parents both directly at the society and indirectly through the Board determine the policies and goals of the school. We are, therefore, neither private nor parochial. We believe that the only way in which parents can fulfill their baptismal vows is in a school for which they bear direct responsibility and control. 

“Our school is reformed according to the confessions. We believe that the Bible should be the guide for the interpretation of all material taught in the school and that the reformed confessions are the correct interpretation of the word of God. Thereby, we reject all false doctrines and humanistic interpretations of life and of the creation contrary to literal interpretation of scripture. 

“Our school is committed to discipline in the spirit and scope of the law of God. Love of the neighbor for God’s sake is the only possible motive for Christian discipline.

“As we look back on a decade of instruction, we must thank God for the school he has given us. We thank him for the material gifts which make possible the support of this school. We thank him for the children of the covenant who are instructed in this school. We thank him for his love by which we can do all things.”

If my memory of old history classes serves me correctly, there was once an old Roman Senator who had rather strong feelings concerning the future of Rome’s arch-rival, Carthage. He ended every single one of his Senate speeches with the words, Delenda est Carthago/i>. As it turned out, the city was, eventually, razed and sowed with salt. Now, I’m not at all sure how much effect the Senator’s persistence had on the outcome. But it might just be worth a try. 

Mitte nuntium.